Idea completes tower sale to ATC

04 Jun 2018

Idea Cellular has completed the sale of its standalone tower business to American Tower Corporation's (ATC) Indian subsidiary for around 40 billion rupees ($597.2 million).

India's third largest mobile operator sold the portfolio of around 9,000 towers nationwide operated by subsidiary ICISL, the Telegraph India reported.

The transaction will bring the anticipated merger between Idea and subsidiary Vodafone India one step closer to completion and had been accounted for under the merger agreement.

If it closes the merger is expected to create India's largest telecoms operator with an estimated 430 million subscribers, with the combined company overtaking current market leader Bharti Airtel and ensuring it is in a stronger position to compete against disruptive new entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm.

ATC has been steadily increasing its portfolio of towers in India. With the Idea deal having closed, ATC now operates some 68,000 towers across India. The company has already acquired Vodafone India's portfolio of around 10,200 towers.

As part of their sale agreements with ATC, both Vodafone and Idea Cellular as customers and ATC as the provider have agreed to treat each other as long-term preferred partners.

Roughly 6,300 joint tenancies of the two operators will gradually transition into single-use tenancies without requiring a break fee.

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